Former TiP substitute gives details on team ban, claims he's owed pay

by Daniel Rosen May 9 2016
Thumbnail image courtesy of Riot Games

After Riot published a ruling Sunday alleging Team Impulse failed to sign contracts with players and pay them on time, former substitute Kenneth "Ken" Tang has accused the organization of not paying him and several other staff for their work during the split.

In a TwitLonger posted on Monday, Ken claimed that he was not compensated for the four matches he played for Team Impulse. He also claimed the team promised to reimburse him for travel costs, but has not done so.

According to Ken, fellow sub Meng "beibei" Zhang has also not been paid his minimum required compensation. He went on to claim the team's coach and three players, Weng "Feng" Xiao-Feng, Brandon "Mash" Phan and Austin "Gate" Yu, are owed several months of pay each.

In its ruling, Riot said that it could not determine whether players were still owed pay beyond the minimum required compensation, as no initial contracts were signed, and investigators could not find documentation of the agreements made between the organization and its employees. However, it did find that the organization had not paid the minimum to its players on time, going back as far as the 2015 NA LCS Summer Split.

Ken said that after finishing his period substituting for the team, he stayed with the organization as a volunteer analyst, though in a diminishing capacity as he shifted to focus on schoolwork.

"[A]round one week before the original relegation match date (later it was delayed for two weeks), team manager Lucas contacted me [saying] that he requires my assistance and be at the house for a week to prepare for the relegation," he wrote. "At the time I was having my midterm and I refused as the risk is too big and the job is unpaid. Later on when Riot announced that the match will be delayed for two weeks, I went to the team house for a week to prepare and [fixed] internal problems."

Team Impulse has been banned from the NA LCS and all Riot-sanctioned tournaments. Riot has given the organization a $20,000 fine and a 10-day deadline in which they must sell their LCS spot to another organization. The players and staff were not affected and will still be allowed to play, provided they can find new ownership.

Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.